Anne Tyler on her sense of accomplishment at writing 20 novels: “I would say it’s like if you’ve ever painted a room and you have to sleep in that room at night and you can see you made a mistake here, and here, and here.”
[Anne Tyler, in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, November 21, 2014]
She wishes she could ‘retire’ her first four novels, believing she really got going with her fifth. This is so reassuring to debut authors such as myself. Such is the pressure today to write a best seller from the beginning, that it is easy to forget that a craft must be learned and it can take many years. Hopefully readers discovered her with the first and stuck with her, that’s exactly what happened to me when I read Kate Atkinson’s first novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995. I have bought and read every single novel she has written since that first one.
The pages of my copy of Ignoring Gravity are marked with sentences underlined or scored out, the odd asterix and exclamation mark. It is not perfect, but it is my first and it is out there. I am determined my second novel will be better, I am putting into action the lessons learned. Thank you Anne Tyler for making me feel better this morning.
If you agree with Anne Tyler, perhaps you will agree with:-
Lauren Owen – family relationships are very interesting
Celia Brayfield – fiction without its darker side is like a Miss Marple mystery without its murder
Chris Cleave – more writers need to celebrate new writers
‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler [UK: Chatto]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why #author Anne Tyler wishes her 5th book was her 1st http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1r4 via @SandraDanby #amwriting